1

Under XFCE, xdg-open calls exo-open.

When exo-open is called with --launch is uses the application set with xfce4-settings-manager.

However, when one calls exo-open foo.txt (local path, without --launch), how is the corresponding application selected?

0

It uses a mime database. You can use the Mime Type Editor in Xfce to change the user-specific default applications (xfce4-mime-settings).

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